Oct 4, 2022

HHS Reports Demonstrate Cost of Big Pharma Egregious Pricing Practices and Importance of Solutions to Keep Price Hikes Below the Rate of Inflation

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released a pair of reports Friday that demonstrate the cost of Big Pharma’s egregious pricing practices and the importance of solutions to crack down on the pharmaceutical industry’s price hikes.

The first analysis found Big Pharma increased prices faster than the rate of inflation on more than 1,200 drugs from 2021 to 2022. The report highlights that those price increases would have been subject to a solution passed as part of the recent Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) that aims to keep price hikes below the rate of inflation.

The analysis also found Big Pharma hiked prices on brand name products by 10 percent in January and 7.8 percent in June of this year.

The second report highlights the whopping $603 billion the U.S. health care system spent on prescription drugs in 2021 — driven by spending on brand name medications. The report reveals that while 80 percent of prescriptions filled are for lower-cost generic drugs, brand-name drugs accounted for 80 percent of all spending and that the top 10 percent of drugs by price represent just one percent of filled prescriptions but 15 percent of spending.

“In recent years, prescription drug prices have skyrocketed, but thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, America’s families will soon start seeing relief,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra in a release on the findings. “The Biden-Harris Administration is focused on providing high-quality, affordable health care to people across the country. No one should have to choose between buying groceries or a prescription, making a home repair or going to the doctor, or splurging on a grandkid or seeking treatment.”

Read HHS’ release on the analyses, HERE.

Read the first analysis, “Price Increases for Prescription Drugs, 2016-2022,” HERE.

Read the second analysis, “Report: Trends in Prescription Drug Spending, 2016-2021,” HERE.

Learn more about Big Pharma’s twice-a-year price hikes HERE.

Learn more about market-based solutions to hold Big Pharma accountable and lower drug prices HERE.